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Obstacles to development: what data are available on fragility, conflict and violence?

Edie Purdie's picture

This is part of a series of blogs focused on the Sustainable Development Goals and data from the 2016 Edition of World Development Indicators.

Over half a million people were killed by intentional homicide in 2012, while in 2014 there were more than one hundred thousand battle-related deaths. Episodes of such violence and unrest can reverse development efforts and rapidly dismantle achievements built over a long time, along social, political economy, and physical dimensions.

Can we quantify learning globally to measure progress on SDG 4?

Husein Abdul-Hamid's picture

This is a companion blog to the series of blogs from the 2016 Edition of World Development Indicators. This blog draws on data from the World Bank’s EdStats database.

Many countries are struggling to improve national learning averages in core subjects such as reading, mathematics and science. While the majority of students reach the lowest international benchmark level in core subjects by the age of 14 or 15, a significant proportion do not. For those that fail, they are unlikely to be able to master these skills by the end of their schooling. This will impact on their ability to join the labor force and have productive jobs. Sustainable Development Goal 4 looks to “ensure inclusive and quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all” in an attempt to widen the talents of a country’s future workforce and set the stage for increased economic growth. Education assessments, while not wholly comparable, shed light on countries’ achievements or gaps in the provision of a high quality and effective education system.
 

What does it mean to “eradicate extreme poverty” and “halve national poverty” by 2030?

Umar Serajuddin's picture

This is part of a series of blogs focused on the Sustainable Development Goals and data from the 2016 Edition of World Development Indicators.

Sustainable Development Goal 1 is to “end poverty in all its forms everywhere” and has two specific poverty reduction targets. One target (SDG 1.1) talks of eradicating extreme poverty by 2030, building on a globally comparable notion of extreme poverty. Extreme poverty fell from 37 percent to 13 percent between 1990 and 2012; and based on national growth rates over the past 10 years, the global extreme poverty rate is estimated to be below 10 percent in 2015, a drop of more than two-thirds since 1990.

This post briefly explains how extreme poverty is measured and makes five main points:

  • A large number of people have moved out of poverty since 1990, and impressively, even though the world’s population grew by 2 billion, there are over a billion fewer poor people.
  • There are many countries with relatively low poverty rates that still have large numbers of the globally extreme poor living there (e.g. China, India).
  • At the same time, there are a large number of countries with stubbornly high poverty rates where relatively small numbers of the world’s extremely poor live (e.g Haiti, Uganda).
  • Since the SDGs focus on “no one left behind”, when looking at poverty across the world, both rates and numbers matter.
  • SDG target 1.2 aims to halve national poverty rates in all its dimensions between 2015 and 2030 – as it’s based on country-specific understanding of poverty (which often differ) it’s relevant for all countries, rich and poor alike.

Measuring surgical systems: a new paradigm for health systems strengthening

Josh Ng-Kamstra's picture


This is a companion blog to the series of blogs from the 2016 Edition of World Development Indicators. It is a guest contribution from colleagues involved in the Lancet Commission on Global Surgery


Click for interactive version

Around the world, more than two-thirds of people still cannot access safe, affordable surgical and anesthesia care when they need it. The impact of surgical disease is not trivial;  30 percent of the world’s burden of disease is estimated to be caused by conditions requiring the care of a surgeon. Such conditions are estimated to cost low- and middle-income countries up to USD 12.3 trillion in lost economic output by 2030. Moreover, 81 million individuals face financial ruin due to expenses incurred while receiving surgical care each year.

The delivery of surgery is critical for the realization of many of the Sustainable Development Goals: Good health and well-being (Goal 3);  No poverty (Goal 1); Gender equality  (Goal 5), and Reducing inequalities (Goal 10).

Describing access to surgery as a treatment modality or platform of care, with relevant country-level data requires a rigorous deconstruction of the components of access upon which national governments can intervene. To this end, Dr. Jim Kim challenged the surgical community in 2014 to develop surgical indicators, along with “time-bound targets” to which the world can aspire.

SDG 6 on water and sanitation is essential for sustainable development

Stephane Dahan's picture
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This is part of a series of blogs focused on the Sustainable Development Goals and data from the 2016 Edition of World Development Indicators.

Water and sanitation linked to many development factors

Despite halving the number of people worldwide without access to an improved water source over the past 25 years, the poorest countries are struggling to provide safe water and adequate sanitation to all their citizens in a sustainable manner. Just over a quarter of people in low-income countries had access to an improved sanitation facility, compared with just over half in lower middle-income countries in 2015. Delivery of water supply and sanitation is no longer just a challenge of service provision, but it is intrinsically linked with climate change, water resources management, water scarcity and water quality.

Doing more with less: evaluating our consumption and production.

Edie Purdie's picture

This is part of a series of blogs focused on the Sustainable Development Goals and data from the 2016 Edition of World Development Indicators.  Chris Sall and Esther Naikal co-authored this blog.

A third of all energy is used to produce food but a third of food is lost or wasted. Saving a quarter of this lost food would be enough to feed 870 million people. “Doing more and better with less” means meeting the basic needs of people and promoting a better quality of life while also cutting harmful waste and pollution.   Using natural resources more efficiently is also a way to improve. Sustainable Development Goal 12 seeks to ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns.

Managing natural resources efficiently

Adjusted net savings (ANS) is an indicator of efficient use of natural assets (target 12.2). It measures the difference between national production and consumption—the change in a country’s wealth. Adjusted net savings takes into account investment in human capital, depreciation of fixed capital, depletion of natural resources, and pollution damage. Positive savings form the basis for building wealth and future growth. Negative savings rates suggest declining wealth and unsustainable development. ANS is especially useful for gauging whether countries that depend heavily on natural resources are balancing the depletion of their natural resources by investing rents in other forms of productive capital, such as through education. Low- and lower middle-income countries with the highest level of resource dependence also tend to have the lowest savings rates.

A tale of many cities: monitoring the world's urban transformation

Chandan Deuskar's picture


This is part of a series of blogs focused on the Sustainable Development Goals and data from the 2016 Edition of World Development Indicators.  Chris Sall also contributed to this blog.

By 2030 around 60 percent of people will live in urban areas, according to the UN. Much of the 1 billion increase in urban population between now and 2030 will be in Asia and Africa, both of which are in the midst of transformations that will permanently change their economic, environmental, social, and political trajectories.

Sustainable Development Goal 11 aims to ensure that cities and other human settlements are safe, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable by targeting housing and slums, transportation, participatory planning processes, cultural heritage, waste management, air quality, disaster risk management, and other issues.

Chart: Over 200 Species of Plants Are Threatened in These Countries

Tariq Khokhar's picture

Biodiversity is essential for well-functioning ecosystems. In each of these 20 countries, over 200 species of plants are threatened, according to data from the International Union for Conservation of Nature available in World Development Indicators.

What's also interesting is that: There are almost as many threatened species of plants as fish, birds and mammals combined


Finally, you can have a look at the numbers of threatened species of plants, birds, fish and mammals in the table below. Equador (with the Galapagos Islands) is a huge outlier so makes the bar scale a little awkward below - if you right click on Equador and "exclude" it you'll be able to see the bars on more useful scale.
 

Gender equality: what do the data show in 2016?

Eliana Rubiano-Matulevich's picture


This is part of a series of blogs focused on the Sustainable Development Goals and data from the 2016 Edition of World Development Indicators.
 

Disparities between men and women are fewer + smaller than 20 years ago, but critical gaps remain

We have seen significant progress in closing gender gaps over the last two decades, especially in education and health. Most countries have reduced disparities between girls and boys in enrollment and completion of primary school, and in transition to secondary school.  And both women and men are living longer and healthier lives. But critical gaps persist: Women have limited access to economic opportunities, and their ability to make decisions about their lives and act on them—their agency —is restricted in many ways.

Hurdles to gender equality

These gaps are related to entrenched social norms and biases that constrain women and girls and prevent them from fulfilling their potential. In many economies, women face legal provisions that restrict their capacity to access opportunities—these include requirements that they obtain a husband’s permission or produce additional documentation to open a bank account in their own name. Persistent gender-based violence is pervasive and reflects the imbalance of power relations in the household and society more generally. Women’s responsibility for family care and household chores, which is necessary for social reproduction, restricts the time they can spend on paid work and disadvantages men.

Sustainable Development Goal 5 seeks to “Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls,” and represents an opportunity to tackle structural constraints and shift social norms, which would potentially enable permanent pathways out of poverty and achieve the gender equality targets of the 2030 agenda.

Shifting entrenched norms isn’t easy. A key step in this process is to create an enabling environment by changing legal frameworks. Countries have taken important steps in enacting laws to protect women from harmful practices: In 2016, 137 countries have laws on domestic violence and 149 countries prohibit or void child marriage. On the other hand, many economies still have legal differences affecting women’s economic opportunities. Almost 60 percent of the 188 countries for which data are available lack legal frameworks that mandate equal opportunities in hiring practices, equal pay for equal work, or allow women to perform the same jobs as men.

Protecting life on land to protect the poor

Mahyar Eshragh Tabary's picture


This is part of a series of blogs focused on the Sustainable Development Goals and data from the 2016 Edition of World Development Indicators.
 

Forests cover 30 percent of the Earth's land but around 13 million hectares vanish each year, despite efforts to protect them. Between 1990 and 2015 the world lost more than 129 million hectares—over 3 percent of its forest area. Despite efforts to protect forests, natural habitats and biodiversity, the impact of of human activity on the environment continues to affect the world’s poorest communities and deforestation, desertification and the loss of biodiversity all pose major challenges. Sustainable Development Goal 15 looks to “Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss".


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